Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cedar Hills Greenway

I have a greenway dream. I know I will be told a million reasons it can't be done. But if I don't try, I will always wonder if I would have been able to save some of our natural beauty here in Northwest Surrey for us all to continue to enjoy.

I would like to propose the concept of a Cedar Hills/South Westminster Greenway along the Green Buffer Zone as outlined on Urban Design Concept map on page 42 of  the South Westminster Neighbourhood Concept Plan.  I feel it would be an opportunity to create something very positive for Surrey. The topographical features of this area determined which route I chose as the Cedar Hills hillside (shown in green with buffering trees) is quite extreme here.

This greenway would provide a fairly level pedestrian and bicycle path off Scott Road, off the South Fraser Perimeter Highway. The current plan is for sidewalks next to Scott Road for business access, but exhaust fumes along these types of corridors make them unhealthy and uncomfortable for exercise or enjoyment. Trees planted in these corridors are usually deciduous with narrow trunks which do nothing to block noise or fumes.

This greenway would provide a more pleasant location for bicycling, rollerblading or walking and would benefit all residents that will live along the base of the hill and beyond into Bridgeview and down into North Delta. The views of the North Shore Mountains from this greenway are so spectacular, I personally think it is the best view of anywhere in the Lower Mainland.

It is a chance for Surrey to show off a new green outlook for the future, perhaps initiating a connection into the Metro Vancouver proposed  Experience the Fraser Trail which would connect Hope to Tsawassen with a network of  greenways, parks and trails. This South Westminster Greenway would be a bypass around the South Fraser Perimeter Highway and Industrial Areas associated with the Port Operations in South Westminster, where pedestrian traffic is not possible along the river.

This could possibly bring tourist dollars, foot traffic and some positive publicity for Surrey. It would also be a demonstration of how a city of the future is able to integrate industrial needs with environmental and residential needs while encouraging a healthy lifestyle.  The challenges in obtaining land for this greenway are extensive, however, I believe with tax breaks, land trades as well as fund raising and other methods, it would be feasible. So many of the key features needed for a greenway already exist along this path. What is there just needs to be preserved and it's use encouraged.
This map is available to view in more detail at WalkJogRun.net 

This would provide a more direct walking/bicycling route to the Scott Road Sky Train Station. This route would also provide a walking path from 104 Ave, near the Khalsa School at Old Yale and 124 Street then directly to the Sky Train. There is currently no access to the Khalsa School by foot from 104. 

The following benefits would be realized from having this Greenway.
  • The greenway would provide a level and direct walking/cycling path to the Scott Road Sky Train Station without having to inhale truck and car fumes along Scott Road.
  • The greenway would connect to current proposed greenways already outlined by  the city.
  • The greenway would be enhanced by the Green Buffer of  trees as pictured on the Urban Design Concept map.
  • The greenway could alternatively provide a buffer zone between the proposed residential development and the industrial uses of this area.
  • This greenway takes advantage of the proposed open areas and parkland as outlined in the South Westminster Neighborhood plan. 
I've taken pictures of the current lay of the land to give an idea of the proposed route. Please visit the following blog posts to see the information I have gathered thus far.

Al Cleaver Park to 104 Ave.

104 Ave/122 Street to Scott Road Skytrain Station

Proposed Contact List.
  • parksrecculture@surrey.ca 
  • transportation@surrey.ca
  • cycling@surrey.ca
  • EngLD@surrey.ca

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Greenway from Al Cleaver Park to 104

Current walkway from Al Cleaver Park to Scott Road underpass at 102 Ave. This walkway connects east and south to the old River Road, which ends in a cul-de-sac and only has local traffic. 

Walkway enters this picture at right. Looking through Scott Road underpass at Intersection of 102 Ave and 120 Street towards 121 Street

102 Ave and 121 Street. Looking West towards Scott Road Underpass.

102 Ave - Currently not in use. Looking West, following picture is looking North East from same location. 
Roadway through 12160 103A Street

Looking back at houses on hill from connection to  122 Street through 12186 103A Ave.

Going North on 122 Street from there brings you to Manson Canal at 104 Ave.

104 Ave/122 Street to Scott Road Skytrain Station

At 104 Ave and 124 Street are these grand trees on the ridge above South Westminster.  It would be nice to have a greenway to admire these and take advantage of the Green Buffer Zone as outlined in the plan.  They sit directly above a proposed townhouse development and have a view through to the Khalsa School.

The proposed greenway could go next to these trees and would be usable by both residents along 104, but the new residents to be placed into this area. It would provide pedestrian and bicycle access to the Scott Road Sky Train Station. It would give access to the natural beauty of this area.

The views from this hill are spectacular and it would be nice to be able to appreciate them.

Alternatively, a greenway could be created to separate the residential zone from the industrial zone and create a buffer between them.

10488 124 Street or 12389 104 Ave

Development Proposal 06 - 0332

OCP Amendment from Industrial to Urban; NCP Amendment from Parks and Open Spaces to Low Density Townhouses; Rezoning from A-1 (By-law No. 5942) to RM-15; Development Permit in order to allow a 43-unit townhouse development.

I have no experience with zoning changes, I read on the Development Proposal "NCP Amendment from Parks and Open Spaces to Low Density Townhouses; Rezoning from A-1 (By-law No. 5942) to RM-15"  I'm not sure what "NCP Amendment from Parks and Open Spaces to Low Density Townhouses"  means. Was the open land replaced with other open land in the same area, so that we can retain natural areas?

View from property to Khalsa School beyond which lies the sky train station.

This road leads to Old Yale Road by 125 Street which is currently unused.

Pictures of some of the trees beyond which the green way could go. I believe this whole area is to become residential?  How many people are planned to live here on the flat area of South Westminster?
The following properties and development proposals affect this area.
12455 105 A Ave
12499 105A Ave

Beyond Old Yale Road I believe is already proposed parkland and city owned property through which a greenway could go without much problem. It would lead directly to the Scott Road Sky Train Station .
There are existing proposed greenways already leading into that area from City Center and Brownsville.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Beaver Pond, Scott Creek and Al Cleaver Park

Greenway leading from Al Cleaver Park. Beaver Pond is on your left.

Road leading from Al Cleaver Park to Scott Creek.

Looking North, Beaver Pond is on your right.

Current view from this area.
Scott Creek

Beaver Pond

Pileated Woodpecker at the Beaver Pond.

The beaver is hard at work.

This part of the pond has now been drained and dam destroyed.

I can see the Patullo Bridge and Sky Train Bridge in the distance.

Has been taken down and returned to a stream.

More pictures of the Beaver Pond here.

Robson Creek, Manson Canal and Salmon

At the intersection of 104 Ave and 122 Street there is this sign on Manson Canal. I believe this waterway connects to Robson Creek where so much work was done on the natural areas in order to attract fish.

This is looking East from 104 Ave and 122 Street. I believe the logs are signs that  beavers are at work. I have also seen herons, rabbits, coyote, flickers, pileated woodpeckers and many many small birds such as chickadees and juncos.

Looking  south across Manson Canal up water way then onto 121 Street. 

Proposed greenway space next to Manson Canal.  As evidenced by the footprints in the snow, this roadway is already in use by pedestrians to reach the new Burger King and Tim Horton's on Scott Road.
12090 104 Ave
Development Permit 90-0127 

Development Permit 08-0216
Development Permit to build two warehouses.
10390 Scott Road 

Unfortunately the salmon bearing natural waterway needs a bit of help in this area next to Scott Road.
 Across Scott Road the waterway continues northwest to the river where a proposed greenway is to be built.
Having a walking path off the main roads is a great bonus. One is proposed for next to Tannery Road, but walking next to a trucking route is not really anyone's greenway dream.

On Elevator Road looking South East towards Fraser Perimeter Road.

On Elevator Road looking North East to the Fraser River.

Road that runs parallel to Manson Canal connecting to Tannery Park.

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